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Scoutmaster annoyed son on camp staff

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My son has decided to be on camp staff. His scoutmaster gave it to me that he should spend the week with the troop instead of being on staff.  He essentially was inferring my son was being selfish.  He said that being on staff was not an excuse to miss camp (but said it was ok if the scout had another commitment such as sports camp or studying for the SAT. Thoughts?

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Welcome to the forum, @2275.

Camp staff is usually really good training in leading with a good attitude. I always encouraged scouts to work at camp.

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Probably one of the oddest things a SM could say- frankly, a kid giving their time to spend time working with 1,000+ scouts, some who may be from their own troop, should be celebrated.  The pay for any camp staff is not great, so it is really selfless for a kid to want to do it.  Kudos to your son, and from one parent of a staff kid to another, give him kudos for spending a summer at camp versus plunked in front of a TV or computer!

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1 hour ago, 2275 said:

My son has decided to be on camp staff. His scoutmaster gave it to me that he should spend the week with the troop instead of being on staff.  He essentially was inferring my son was being selfish.  He said that being on staff was not an excuse to miss camp (but said it was ok if the scout had another commitment such as sports camp or studying for the SAT. Thoughts?

Sounds to me like a new Scoutmaster who hasn't earned his experience yet.

Most Scoutmasters want to see the boys in their troops mature over the years and grow to take on increasing responsibility. That's exactly what camp staff provides. It's an increased level of responsibility and might well be the first time the scout has been away from home "on his own"....without even the comfort of his friends and scoutmaster to back him up. Most kids will get that when they move on to college, but for the scout working at summer camp, he gets the opportunity to experience it a little earlier.  

Ignore a scoutmaster who tells you such things. His lack of wisdom will also grow and mature over time...

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Well - does the troop need him to have a good summer camp? Being helpful at all times might mean helping the troop first in his mind. I always have an issue with people who accept inferences. Just ask - is this a problem? Being an SM is hard and communication is not always as simple as it seems. As SM I too would like my older scouts to help the troop during summer camp vs being on staff for the big picture but on an individual growth aspect I would do I can to help get them a role on staff that they wanted.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 2275 said:

My son has decided to be on camp staff. His scoutmaster gave it to me that he should spend the week with the troop instead of being on staff.  He essentially was inferring my son was being selfish.  He said that being on staff was not an excuse to miss camp (but said it was ok if the scout had another commitment such as sports camp or studying for the SAT. Thoughts?

Unless your son is SPL, the SM is out of line.  If your son is SPL, then he needs to make sure the ASPL is ready for it, and he should remain on staff.  

Edited by perdidochas

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@2275, welcome to the forums! Around here, camp staff are encouraged to take the week off to camp with their troop. This is especially true for scouts staffing the cub resident camp, which can be particularly intense.

I can understand how an SM would like someone like your son to be with the troop for that week. Such scouts attending camp often benefit the troop more than they benefit themselves. Their absence leaves a big hole. (And I disagree with @perdidochas that only SPL/ASPL or any other youth in a current PoR are the only scouts essential to troop life.)

So, tell your son to take it as a compliment. Also, if he wants a second opinion, have him talk to his Camp Director about it. His/her opinion might matter more than that of strangers on the internet!

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I’m on camp staff and my troop WANTS me to stay on staff. I don’t know why your scoutmaster wants him to take a week off. He can literally spend just about the same time with them as if he was a camper.

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34 minutes ago, TMSM said:

Well - does the troop need him to have a good summer camp? Being helpful at all times might mean helping the troop first in his mind. I always have an issue with people who accept inferences. Just ask - is this a problem? Being an SM is hard and communication is not always as simple as it seems. As SM I too would like my older scouts to help the troop during summer camp vs being on staff for the big picture but on an individual growth aspect I would do I can to help get them a role on staff that they wanted.

If you embrace the concept of "servant leadership", then doing what you can to get the scouts into a role like camp staff is exactly what you should be doing. Help challenge the scouts to grow and spread their wings and embrace new challenges. As the scouts get older, camp staff is a great option for them (and it sure beats having them bored to death being forced to do yet more merit badges they don't need). Things like OA Trail Crew are another great way to let older scouts leverage what little time they have left in scouting into meaningful leadership and service.  

One of the great advantages of *NOT* having your older scouts at summer camp is that it provides an opportunity for the the mid-level scout (maybe a 13-year old Star) to be acting SPL for a week and to get a taste of the kinds of leadership responsibilities that go with the SPL job.  

This situation can be a real win-win for everyone if you let it be.  

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1 minute ago, ItsBrian said:

I’m on camp staff and my troop WANTS me to stay on staff. I don’t know why your scoutmaster wants him to take a week off. He can literally spend just about the same time with them as if he was a camper.

Simple.  You have a good scoutmaster and are in a troop that provides challenges and opportunities.  Be glad you have the opportunity to grow. Make the most of it (and have fun!)

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16 minutes ago, mrkstvns said:

One of the great advantages of *NOT* having your older scouts at summer camp is that it provides an opportunity for the the mid-level scout (maybe a 13-year old Star) to be acting SPL for a week and to get a taste of the kinds of leadership responsibilities that go with the SPL job.  

 

We don't know the context of this troop - a 13 year old Star trying to run a full Patrol Method Cooking summer camp that has 5 patrols is not a good way to learn how to be an SPL unless this troop is really adult run.

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